Online selling has really boomed these last few months. If you’re thinking of jumping on the bandwagon, one of the first things you need to decide on is whether you want to make use of an existing e-commerce community or build your own.
Each type has its pros and cons. By piggybacking on already existing online selling giants, all you have to do is upload the items and manage fulfillment. In some cases, however, a percentage of your sale may go to the e-commerce website. Going the DIY route, on the other hand, will allow you to customize as much as you want, but this is more expensive.
While you’re thinking about which way to go, why don’t you check out what options you have for both? This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it’s a start.
Existing e-commerce platforms
Cost: Free / Commission-based for Shopee Mall
The great thing about popular e-commerce websites like Shopee is that most people go there specifically to make a purchase. Most of them also do a good job of getting customers to visit them what with their irresistible sales and other cash back incentives. But is Shopee the right website for you? If you’re hoping to cast a really wide net and if you don’t mind competing with other sellers, it might just be right up your alley. Shopee is known as a veritable rabbit hole, a place where you can find anything and everything, so whatever you’re selling will not look out of place there.
Carousell has earned itself a reputation for being a treasure trove of secondhand items (although you can still sell new items there), so if you’re trying to de-clutter or if you specialize in pre-loved items, this is a great place to set up shop. We’re not just talking about old clothes or appliances though. Carousell is also being used to find new owners for used cars.
Cost: Free / Commission-based for LazMall
Lazada is another popular e-commerce website where people expect a wide variety of items. It has similar perks to Shopee, but if you’re selling fresh items, you’ll be interested to know that Lazada also has Lazada Fresh, which specifically caters to sellers of fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh meats and seafoods, frozen and ready-to-cook food, and bread and pastries.
What: Facebook Marketplace
Facebook’s advantage lies in the fact that it has a massive market pool. Everyone, from your former high school teacher to your 77-year-old grandmother, probably has an account there. The fact that it has integrated itself so seamlessly into our daily lives doesn’t hurt either.
There’s a reason why hashtags like #aesthetics and #foodporn are popular on Instagram. This is a platform where visuals take center stage, so if what you’re selling is a feast for the eyes, you won’t find a more advantageous ground. Like Facebook, it’s also an app that we already spend a lot of time on, so your chances of being discovered are already better than if you’re building a new website.
Tip: When it comes to choosing the right e-commerce website, type the product you intend to sell online on Google and see which ranks first. This will give you an idea of which website your products are mostly sold on.
Customizable e-commerce platforms
Cost: USD13 per month (Basic Shopify)
Shopify is one of the most popular customizable e-commerce platforms in the world and in the Philippines, not just because of the user experience, but also its price. Among its competitors, it has the cheapest monthly subscription at USD13. A basic account will get you the actual online store as well as blog to help you with your marketing efforts. There are no limits to the items you upload, and you can even offer your own discount codes.
What: Big Commerce
Cost: USD29.95 per month
While a little more expensive, Big Commerce’s standard account does offer more as well. For starters, you can open as many staff accounts as you want no matter what your plan. Shopify offers limited accounts even with their most expensive plan. Another interesting draw is that Big Commerce offers a mobile app even for standard users.
Cost: USD17 (Business Basic)
You’ve probably seen those Wix ads on YouTube a million times, so you know that it’s not a service exclusive to e-commerce. Another good thing about Wix is that you can technically use it for free. However, that will come with ads that might just turn your customers off.
Cost: USD26 (Basic Commerce)
Like Wix, SquareSpace isn’t just limited to e-commerce. You can use their service to build other kinds of websites, too. Its clear advantage, however, is its design arm. SquareSpace has award-winning templates available for you to use. If you’re serious about developing your branding, this might be the right platform for you.
Looking for ideas on what to sell online? Check out these suggestions!